Men’s tennis squad snaps losing streak against Florida A&M

Wesley Kirchharr

Staff Writer

The Troy men’s tennis team snapped a four-match losing streak to start the 2018 season by routing Florida A&M 6-1 in Tallahassee, Florida, on Friday before losing 4-3 to Stetson the next day.

The Trojans have yet to play a home match this spring season, but were able to dominate in both the singles and doubles phases of Friday’s road match against the Rattlers to get their first win. However, Saturday’s matchup with Stetson saw Troy concede four singles matches and a win, despite sweeping all three doubles matches.

Against Florida A&M, Troy’s Pelayo Antuña and Jiaqi Duan started off the day by edging Rattler duo Lebelo Alex Masehle and Luis Espeinoza by a score of 6-4. It was Antuña and Duan’s first doubles win together this season after losing all four of their previous contests together.

Trojan tandem Amer Bedwan and Andy Lau helped secure the doubles point for Troy later on, defeating Illya Skoromnyy and Hema Hasona 6-2.

Troy lost just one doubles match that day and had a similar rate of success once it moved into singles play.

Antuña, Duan, Bedwan and Mustapha Belcora all cruised to two-set wins in their respective matches, making Oskar Michalek’s 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 come-from-behind win over Florida A&M’s Federico Nani the only three-set victory for the Trojans.

Lau was the only Trojan to lose his singles match as he fell 6-4, 6-2 to the Rattlers’ Noureldin Adam.

The following day, however, it was the singles phase that led to Troy’s downfall.

Like the day prior, the duo of Lau and Bedwan won their doubles match 6-2, followed by Belcora and Michalek’s 6-3 victory over the Hatters’ Loic Blanco and Malik Bhatnagar.

Duan was able to win his singles match in two sets, and Jorge Poyatos grinded out a three-set win over Stetson’s Colin MacNamara in Poyatos’ first match of the season.

The other four matches all resulted in losses for the Trojans, and all of them were decided in two sets.

The men’s team will now look forward to a busy weekend in Texas as it plays in the two-day H-E-B Tournament of Champions hosted by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday and Saturday.

After that, Troy will face its last true road test against UT-Arlington on Sunday before returning home for a pair of home matches next weekend.

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